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RAF's first A400M Atlas completes maiden flight

The UK Royal Air Force has moved one step closer to receiving its first Airbus Defence & Space A400M Atlas airlifter, after the aircraft successfully completed its maiden flight in Spain on 30 August. Aircraft MSN15 was piloted by British test pilot Ed Strongman. The aircraft took off from Seville at 14:25 local time, returning 5h 5min later. ( More...

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Larry Toler 1
It will probably replace some C160's the Germans are using. Hmm, I wonder. The Germans took some of our channel flights at Mildenhall when we were sending our 130's down range. The 160 was newer and pretty cool, but I'm excited to see a new large turboprop airlifter though.
Jesse Carroll -9
Cloned a C-130...Aholes!
John Beech 3
A stupid reply from a stupid a hole.
Engage brain before opening mouth and get a grip of the FACTS before you do!!!
DAL521 1
c'mon! She not only looks way different, she is way different.
Can someone tell me why one would buy this plan over a Boeing C-17 with jet engines? Just wondering. Is it to keep some folks employed at Airbus while their countries' governments foot the bill?
Matt West 2
Well it's likely being used as a replacement to the C-130. The UK, for example, has 8 C17's which they use extensively, but they are hard to operate in an austere environment such as temporary and/or grass runways.

That being said, and I say this as an Airbus fan, the A400 is the elephant in the room at Airbus. The C-130 is still available, and is a proven air frame. As someone who works in the Special Ops community (but not as I pilot) I see how they are put through their paces - and hearing those gun-ships is an awesome sound.

So I guess my point is that you are probably right. The A400 will probably only ever be used by European governments just to prevent "egg on the face".

John Beech 1
A400 is superior to the C130 in lift and range and can land where a C17 cannot. As said above RAF has a number of C17 but the c130 is past it now and the RAF is replacing them with the A400
Jim Quinn 1
I would think that with turboprop powerplants there is much more range/endurance...
Matt Hauke 1
Because they are two totally different types of aircraft. C-17 is an inter-theater aircraft whereas the A400M (and it U.S. counterpart the C-130) are intra-theater. Also, the A400M is built for STOL operation on non-standard landing surfaces. Something the C-17 cannot do.


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